Troupe shows penchant toward the theatrical at Dance on the Edge

January 21, 1991|By J. L. Conklin

New York City's David Dorfman brought his provocative troupe of six dancers, along with musician Dan Froot, for the third installment of the Dance on the Edge Series at the Baltimore Museum of Art this weekend.

Mr. Dorfman's five works displayed his penchant toward the theatrical. The strongest works on the program were built on a foundation of improvisation and gestural imagery overlaid with an acute sensitivity to space and rhythms.

"Slow Run Back," performed by Carol Kueffer and Lisa Race, was an enigmatic and provocative dance where the space between the dancers became a highly charged element of the work, a metaphor for the changing relationship of the dancers. A sympathetic bond between the two women was created by the use of unison and by a strong reassuring rhythmic pulse in the recurring theme of Scott Killian's music.

"Horn," a duet for two men and two saxophones, wittily brought Mr. Dorfman and Mr. Froot together in a work that explored the concept of partnership. As the two men pushed, pulled, rocked and rolled, they accompanied their games of one-upmanship with various riffs on their instruments. The effect brought laughter, particularly when the two played the keys of one another's horns.

Mr. Dorfman is at his best when he allows his theatrical nature full reign, as in his work "Sleep Story." As Mr. Dorfman ran in place recounting an autobiographical tale, he was momentarily interrupted and knocked down by a full body collision with Ginger Gillespie. Not missing a beat, he stood up and resumed his run and his tale.

There is an eloquent power in Mr. Dorfman's work that transcends what is actually being seen. However his larger group works, "Area of Detail" and "Fielders Choice"," did not create the vivid and compelling statements the duets did.

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